The Warlord and His Gun Factory


“Armed force is the backing of justice.” That was Chinese warlord Yan Xishan’s motto. For decades in the early- and mid-20th century, Yan ruled Shanxi province, fighting both for and against fellow warlords, the nationalists, the communists and the... Read more

How a Lone Polish Cadet Rampaged Through German Panzers


We tend to impose narratives on history, seizing on compelling legends and streamlining complex... Read more

The U.S. Navy Is Struggling to Grow


In late 2016, the U.S. defense establishment arrived at a consensus: with just 275... Read more

Israel Has an Air-Launched Ballistic Missile


Two Israeli companies together have tested a new, supersonic air-launched ballistic missile with a... Read more

The Full Scale of Chicago’s Gun Violence


It was a scene played out over again and again on Chicago’s West Side.... Read more
The Forgotten Tale of How Allied Bombers Chased a German Sub to Its Doom
In June 2018, Spanish media reported that divers Anxi González Roca and Eduardo Losada and naval historian Yago Abilleira...
The U.S. Navy Is Re-Arming for Surface Warfare

The U.S. Navy Is Re-Arming for Surface Warfare

In 2016 the U.S. Navy possessed just one surface-launched anti-ship missile type — Boeing’s Harpoon, a munition that first...

‘Threads’ Is One of the Most Horrifying Films I’ve Ever Seen

‘Threads’ Is One of the Most Horrifying Films I’ve Ever Seen

This story first appeared on May 5, 2015. In the basement, a few days after the bombs dropped, Ruth...

New Spy Drone Flies Non-Stop for a Month

New Spy Drone Flies Non-Stop for a Month

Airbus’s Zephyr solar-powered drone flew for 25 days straight during a test-flight over Yuma, Arizona beginning on July 11,...

Texas Megachurch Preaches the Power of Drones

Texas Megachurch Preaches the Power of Drones

This story originally appeared on Aug. 25, 2014. The video opens on a birds-eye view of a city through...

Britain’s New Spy Planes Are Practically Spacecraft

Britain’s New Spy Planes Are Practically Spacecraft

A version of this story originally appeared on Aug. 22, 2016. In July 2018, Airbus Defense & Space announced...

Play the Pentagon-Funded Video Game That Predates ‘Pong’

Play the Pentagon-Funded Video Game That Predates ‘Pong’

This story originally appeared on July 27, 2014. Before Call of Duty, before Mario and even before Pong there...

The Stoner Arms-Dealer Is Back

The Stoner Arms-Dealer Is Back

In the summer of 2018, a federal administrative tribunal that presides over disputes between contractors and the government rendered...

In 2013, Fake News Claimed Barack Obama Tried to Nuke South Carolina

In 2013, Fake News Claimed Barack Obama Tried to Nuke South Carolina

A U.S. nuclear bomb exploded off the South Carolina coast after U.S. military leaders refused an order by Pres....

In the 1980s, the Pentagon Was Desperate to Avoid Nuking the Middle East

In the 1980s, the Pentagon Was Desperate to Avoid Nuking the Middle East

In a secluded section of MacDill Air Force Base, four miles south of Tampa, Florida, is a building once...

How to Find a Missing H-Bomb

How to Find a Missing H-Bomb

This story originally appeared on April 20, 2015. When a routine Cold War operation went terribly wrong, two planes...

The Legacy of Infinite War

The Legacy of Infinite War

Raids by U.S. commandos in Afghanistan. I could be talking about 2001 or 2018. A U.S. drone strike in...

B.Z. Gas Rendered the Enemy Too Irritable to Fight

B.Z. Gas Rendered the Enemy Too Irritable to Fight

This story originally appeared on Oct. 27, 2014. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact...

The Remington Nylon 66 Was the First Plastic Gun

The Remington Nylon 66 Was the First Plastic Gun

This story originally appeared on Nov. 21, 2016. In the late 1950s, Remington took advantage of its parent company...

Converted Prop Guns Are Assassins’ Weapon of Choice

Converted Prop Guns Are Assassins’ Weapon of Choice

This story originally appeared on Feb. 25, 2015. Blank-firing guns make for fun movie props and nice showpieces. But...

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